“The work never ends, does it?” my neighbor commented as I slicked a few straying plants (often referred to as weeds) from a front garden bed. I straightened in amazement. Apparently I’ve been on this path for so long that her words jarred me.
“Wow!” I said, “I’d rather think of it as always having an endless array of exciting activities to choose from.”
She blinked abruptly with a jerk of her head. “Well, I suppose that’s one way to look at it.”
I’ve been where the neighbor is. Life is full of hard work. You get relief when the job is done. The satisfaction of crossing it off the list is all there is.
I’ve come to know, over time, that we all get to choose how we think about and look at life. We can choose the perspective that pleases us, that fills our day with anticipation, that juices our eagerness and that produces great satisfaction in the process of doing everything.
One day my friend Susan and I were playing with all of the above concepts. Her idea about lists was “get to do” instead of “have to do.” And so was born, “Things I get to do today.” Not everyday, but several times a week, I take my previous list of possible activities and write them slowly, carefully and beautifully in Vimala Alphabet style cursive (http://www.iihs.com/vimala-alphabet.html). I take time to think about each project. What aspects of the process will I relish and what could I bring in thought that would create pleasure in the task? Then using my own personal technique for evaluating the importance of each item, I assign the items numbers with 10 being the most important (do this first!) and 1 being the least. From there I simply fall to, beginning with number 10. All day I plark (see post "Diapers for my table saw" 9/20/11) my way through the list. If I’m not enjoying myself, I stop, rethink my objective and milk it for all the goodness it holds.
This whole thing might sound simplistic, like mind over matter or self deception or rosy-colored glasses, but I go to bed at night in sweet peace and I wake up the next morning, eager to start my day. And I, for one, think that's the way to look at it.